Cover photo for Paulette  J. Pitrak's Obituary
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1951 Paulette 2016

Paulette J. Pitrak

November 29, 1951 — November 18, 2016

Paulette J. PitrakLover of Water and Animals Paulette Pitrak of Ewing, NJ, peacefully continued on her life journey on Friday, November 18, 2016. Paulette, 64, died after a short battle with leukemia at Capital Regional Medical Center in Hopewell, NJ. Paulette spent 24 years as a employee of the nonprofit trade association, the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (Hamilton, NJ). NESPA is comprised of members from a four state region: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania. At NESPA, Paulette served first as the Director of Training and Career Development and rose to the position of Deputy Executive Director. Her passion for all things water was shared with literally thousands of people world-wide on issues of training, code enforcement and government relations. Some of NESPA's distinctive features were directly attributed to Paulette's work and perservance: the Congress of Volunteers, the first training offered for builders by APSP; the 70+ training sessions offered during NESPA's annual trade show, winning one of three national grants from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSP) to train building code officials in correct pool construction, to becoming one of the inaugural group to be designated as a "Fellow" for her dedication to and expertise in the pool and spa industry recognized by American Pool and Spa Association (APSA). Paulette also took her expertise and passion to Lyon, France, where she advised colleagues at the Piscine Global Pool and Spa Trade Show. Paulette thrived on being a learner, a teacher, and a mentor to all. Paulette's passions were also water-bound. In college at Illinois State University, she swam and dived on the college team as well as played softball. At Indiana State University, she earned a Master's Degree in Recreation, and at Michigan State University, she studied Resource Conservation including an emphasis on water and development issues. In her prime, Paulette was an avid racquetball and squash player. She also loved nature, especially birds of all types. She often wished she was a pelican, and she chose to have her remains near at one of her favorite places on earth, the Sanibel Island, FL, J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, known for its abundant bird life.Paulette was also passionate about animals, especially dogs and was an active volunteer with the Friends of Morrisville Dog Park in Morrisville, PA. Paulette is survived by her long-time partner, Dr. Deborah A. Cutchin (Ewing, NJ); her dog, Haddie; her mother, Mrs. Sophie ("Lu") Pitrak (Lyons, IL); two sisters, Lucille ("Lu") VanDell (Lexington, KY) and Ms. Diane Pitrak (Lyons, IL) and her nephew, Alex VanDell (Basking Ridge, NJ). Paulette hopes that all of us have peaceful and happy lives. Gifts in honor and in memory of Paulette may be made to the Friends of Morrisville Dog Park, (P.O. Box 156, Morrisville, NJ 19067); or the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Memorial services will be held in early December after plans are finalized.

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